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U.s. 10, Mexico 8, Chicago 6, Copd 5, Bpa 5, United States 3, Lori Bell 3, Daley 3, Afghanistan 3, Us 3, America 3, Texas 3, Koran 2, David Petraeus 2, Nora O'donnell 2, Bp 2, Reyes 2, New Orleans 2, Kabul 2, Juarez 2,
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  NBC    NBC Nightly News    News/Business. The latest world and  
   national news. New. (HD) (CC) (Stereo)  

    September 7, 2010
    7:00 - 7:30pm EDT  

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on the b on the broadcast tonight, sour mood. our new poll numbers are out. wait till you hear what your fellow citizens are saying about where we're all headed. and the numbers that may be very bad news for the democrats. a preacher's plan to burn the koran sparking protest against america. and this nation's best-known active four-star general right there in the middle of it. the war next door that most americans may not know about but should because of the threat to the united states. and at risk, questions about something dentists use, especially on young patients. also tonight, making a difference on the home front, also tonight, making a difference on the home front, "nightly news" begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television good evening. it's always been the american ideal, part of the american way, pushing ahead, always getting
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better, always improving, a future always brighter than our past. but tonight in the new nbc news polling numbers debuting today, americans are losing hope in the future of their country in greater numbers now. our new numbers contain bad news for the president and bad news for his party. a lot of it because the economy is beyond bad and it's been that way for quite a while. and we begin tonight with our political director, chief white house correspondent, chuck todd. a grim set of numbers. >> it is. and the pessimism isn't about the now, it's about the future. look at this first number. is america in a state of decline? 65%, two-thirds of the country agrees that america is in a state of decline. that sort of sets the mood. then we asked them, is the country headed on the wrong track or the right direction? 61% say the wrong direction. to put this in some perspective, in 2006 at this point in time, 54% said we were headed in the wrong direction.
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in 1994, 57%. why do i bring up those two dates? those are the last two times that congress changed hands in a wave election. things are actually worse now than in 1994 or 2006. the president, as you pointed out, his job rating at a dismal 45%, 49% disapprove. but look at his numbers handling the economy. 56% disapprove of that. among likely voters actually, 61% disapprove of how he's handling the economy. how this translates into november in the match-up, do you prefer a republican-controlled congress or democratic-controlled congress, among all voters, it's even. but among those voters who are most likely to go to the polls, it is a nine-point republican edge. that would be a blowout. that would mean 50 to 60-seat pick-up for the republicans, that would mean the republicans would get control of the house and maybe even the senate. we've heard president obama talk about, hey, if you put the republicans in charge, it's just going back to the bush era.
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but voters say if the republicans get control of congress, not having bush era policies but having new ideas. republican party rebranding itself without having to do anything. >> that would take away a huge part of the obama argument. also political news was made today. stick around one moment for this next item. put it this way, for 42 of the last 55 years, there's been a mayor of chicago named daley. that's about to change. richard daley stunned the political world today announcing he would not be running for re-election. his wife has battled cancer since '02. he said today the time has come to turn a page. >> in the coming days, i know there will be some reflecting on my time as mayor. many of you will search to find what's behind my decision. it's simple. i've always believed that every person, especially public officials, must understand when it's time to move on. for me, that time is now.
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>> chuck, the office of chicago mayor has always been larger than itself. it doesn't ever stop in chicago. so how does this have white house implications, his announcement, very personal announcement today? >> well, it is. the reason it has white house implications, the chief of staff, rahm emanuel, has made no secret that his lifelong ambition is to be mayor of chicago. he's been asked numerous times would he run for mayor of chicago? he's said he wants richard daley to run for re-election. but richard daley is now not running for re-election. here's what i can tell you. chicago veterans tell me that rahm probably has a week or two to make a decision. most people close to him believe he is going to end up running. this would, of course, lead to some sort of mini shake-up or big shake-up inside the white house. would the president decide to have an interim chief of staff between now and november or go for the whole shebang, bring in somebody from the outside and do
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the big shake-up that some democrats on the outside of the white house have been clamoring very, frankly, for months. >> now that we know there won't be a daley in chicago city hall for the first time in a long time. chuck todd, thanks a lot. we turn to the recent upswing in anti-muslim activity in this country. now we're seeing it sparking anti-american anger in some places. and with the 9/11 anniversary approaching, the best-known active duty four-star general, david petraeus, the top u.s. commander in afghanistan, is issuing a strong warning to a pastor who says he's planning a koran burning this weekend. the obama administration is calling his threat un-american. we get more on all of it tonight from our chief foreign correspondent richard engel. >> reporter: demonstrators in kabul angrily denouncing the united states. they burned flags and effigies and pelted stones at a passing u.s. military convoy. kabul, once one of the most
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isolated cities, is no longer cut off. the demonstrators were reacting to a tiny church in gainesville, florida, with just a few dozen members, the church has made headlines and internet chatter with its anti-muslim slogans and its plans to burn copies of the koran on 9/11. >> we are going to have an international "burn a koran" day. >> reporter: church leader terry jones says the goal is to stand up to islamic extremism. >> we believe our president plays it down. we believe that people are afraid of radical islam. they're afraid to confront it. >> reporter: but the american commander in afghanistan doesn't agree. general david petraeus said the image of americans burning a koran could harm u.s. troops and the war effort. in a statement today, petraeus said, the safety of our soldiers and civilians would be put in jeopardy and accomplishment of the mission would be made more difficult. americans burning a koran, the general said, could be used as a
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propaganda tool and goes against the u.s. military's mission to win over the afghan people. today the white house said it agrees with general petraeus. >> any type of activity like that would be -- that puts our troops in harm's way would be a concern to this administration. >> reporter: and the state department called the proposed koran burnings un-american. >> we think these are provocative acts. they are disrespectful, they're intolerant, they're divisive. >> reporter: but so far the church, already denied a permit, isn't backing down. >> if people should lose their life, that would be tragic. still, i must say that we feel that we must sooner or later stand up to islam. >> reporter: today religious leaders spoke out against the event. >> the threatened burning of copies of the holy koran this saturday is a particularly egregious offense that demands the strongest possible condemnation. >> reporter: and polls suggest few americans support anti-muslim activities.
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the timing of this, brian, is especially sensitive. the anniversary of 9/11 is just a few days away. it also coincidentally falls at the end of ramadan, which is a muslim holiday. so you could have a small group of americans burning korans on a muslim holiday on the 9/11 anniversary. >> a lot of people asking for a cooling down period. richard engel here with us in new york. thanks as always. in iraq today, a grim reminder americans are still in grave danger there. today, a man dressed as an iraqi soldier fired on american troops on a training visit to an iraqi military base. two u.s. soldiers killed, at least nine others injures. they are the first u.s. service members to die since president obama declared the end of the combat operations phase. in this country, a wind-driven wildfire covering 7,000 acres in the foothills outside boulder, colorado, has doubled in size just today, destroyed dozens of houses in its path. about 3,000 residents evacuated from their homes.
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by the way, some of the homes that were lost belonged to the firefighters that were trying to put the fire out. gusty winds grounded a lot of air tanker aircraft for much of the day today which, of course, hurt the firefighting effort. tropical storm hermine is pounding texas with heavy rain tonight, though it's expected to lose power and weaken to a tropical depression during the night, it's carrying a lot of rain. the storm is just about the size of the state of texas, hammering houston, san antonio all day today, packing sustained winds of 40 miles an hour with higher gusts and as much as 10 inches of rain could fall on some areas before it's over. they're worried about tornadoes tonight. now to a war going on right next door to this country in mexico where the government is in a fierce fight with the drug cartels which also have operations in at least what's estimated to be 270 american cities and where they're bringing in up to $39 billion a
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year from the drug trade in the u.s. we'll be focusing on this dangerous and violent war next door in mexico in an ongoing series of special reports. tonight, nbc's mark potter on the extent of the narco-insurgency. >> reporter: with terror in the streets just south of the u.s. border, the mexican government is struggling to keep a lid on the rapidly escalating violence that has now claimed 28,000 lives in a nearly four-year drug war, pitting cartel against cartel and against the government. the savagery is hard to imagine, with mass killings, beheadings and corpses strewn in public as traffickers lash out against rivals and the authorities. tony paillon is an expert on mexican drug cartels. >> you could say they're a kind of insurgency. they're beginning to learn and to use tactics that are generally associated with the
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insurgency. >> it's getting worse. i have never seen it at this level before. >> reporter: anthony coleson is a recently retired d.e.a. agent in tuscon, arizona. he says the mexican traffickers produce more drugs and are stronger now than ever. >> they're flourishing now as almost a drug empire. >> reporter: mexican president felipe calderon is waging an unprecedented war against the drug cartels and warns the traffickers threaten civil order and the state. so far, five mayors have been killed this year and a gubernatorial candidate was shot dead on a highway. >> the state is not prepared to handle that type of situation. the police forces in mexico are too small. >> reporter: jose reyes is the mayor of juarez, mexico, where 2,800 people were killed in drug violence last year. he travels with tight security. how many threats do you get and how seriously are they taken? >> we take them very seriously. we started getting threats right after i took office.
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>> reporter: in downtown juarez next to el paso, texas -- >> this is the place where the bomb exploded. >> reporter: mayor reyes showed us where a car bomb aimed at police killed three people. when this car bomb went off, this was a real ratcheting up of the violence here, correct? >> it was. it had never been used in juarez. >> reporter: to lure police to the scene, traffickers shot a man, dressed him in a police uniform, laid him on the street, called for help, then when federal police arrived, set off a remote control bomb caught on tape. since then, there have been other car bombs in mexico and traffickers threaten more. the horrific violence here in juarez and elsewhere in mexico is directly linked to the united states, as traffickers fight for control of smuggling routes to the united states. anyone standing in the way is a target for murder. in creel, mexico, a police security camera revealed the
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brazenness of drug traffickers who shut down a highway, threatened drivers and killed many people here. many villages near the border have become ghost towns after the traffickers threatened or killed the residents to clear the way for drug loads bound for u.s. cities. >> we, too, have to look at it seriously in our country. it is our country's number one organized crime threat. >> reporter: a hard-fought war by the mexican government, supported by the u.s. but still far from being won. mark potter, nbc news, juarez, mexico. >> by the way, there's more of mark's reporting on this topic. it's on our website, nightly.msnbc.com. when our broadcast continues in just a moment, this tuesday night, the concern over kids and a certain treatment at the dentist's office. what the experts are saying about it tonight. and later, helping make painful separations easier for military families and making a difference in the process.
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great news! for people with copd, including chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both, advair helps significantly improve lung function. while nothing can reverse copd, advair is different from most other copd medications because it contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator, working together to help you breathe better. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than twice a day. people with copd taking advair may have a higher chance of pneumonia. advair may increase your risk of osteoporosis and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking advair. i had fun today, grandpa. you and me both. if copd is still making it hard to breathe, ask your doctor if including advair will help improve your lung function for better breathing. get your first full prescription free and save on refills. you don't love me anymore do you billy? what? i didn't buy this cereal to sweet talk your taste buds
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it's for my heart health. good speech dad. [ whimper ] [ male announcer ] honey nut cheerios tastes great and its whole grain oats can help lower cholesterol. bee happy. bee healthy. and its whole grain oats can help lower cholesterol. no oil has flowed into the gulf for weeks, but it's just the beginning of our work. i'm iris cross. bp has taken full responsibility for the clean up in the gulf and that includes keeping you informed. my job is to listen to the shrimpers and fishermen, hotel and restaurant workers and find ways to help. i was born in new orleans. my family still lives here. bp is gonna be here until the oil is gone and the people and businesses are back to normal... until we make this right. [ but aleve can last 12 hours. tylenol 8 hour lasts 8 hours. and aleve was proven to work better on pain than tylenol 8 hour. so why am i still thinking about this? how are you? good, how are you? [ male announcer ] aleve. proven better on pain.
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back now with a health story that may be another example of the cost of good intentions. there's a new study out today saying one of the most common materials dentists use to protect teeth from decay especially in kids may pose a health risk although it can easily be guarded against. we get more from our chief medical editor, dr. nancy snyderman. >> reporter: it's hard enough for parents to get kids to the dentist. and today, a new study suggests that dental sealants used to prevent cavities may expose children to an estrogen-like chemical called bpa. >> until the dental materials industry finds bpa-free
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alternatives, we'd recommend that kids either gargle with water and then spit for at least 30 seconds after getting the sealants placed or that the dentist rub the some of the sealant with a pumice cup or cotton ball to remove it. >> reporter: bisphenol-a is a synthetic chemical found almost everywhere, in water bottles, plasticware and tops and linings of metal cans. and the concern has been the possible link of bpa to common medical problems. >> bpa has been related to diabetes, heart disease, obesity and abnormal behavior in people. >> reporter: bpa levels in saliva can spike to 88 times higher than normal immediately after a sealant is applied. >> the components of the sealants and white fillings break down to bpa. and that stays in the saliva for about a three-hour period. >> reporter: but dentist dr. jed best says the benefits of sealants far outweigh the risks. >> it has dramatically reduced
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the risk of decay in young children. >> reporter: the authors agree but still encourage manufacturers to find alternative chemicals that are bpa-free. something that is safe for a child's mouth and a parent's peace of mind. for the time being, a recommendation is for pregnant women not to get any sealants or fillers while they're pregnant. and really a request to manufacturers to start listing the ingredients so dentists and patients can know what's in them. if you want to avoid it, fine. important to remember, the link, while there's a lot of concern, is still very, very weak, and sealants for kids have cut cavities dramatically. >> as they say, the more you know. >> there you go. >> thank you very much for visiting. when we come back, the real science you should know about those episodes a lot of us jokingly call senior moments. ♪
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♪ [ male announcer ] giving up cigarettes can take more than willpower alone. but today's a new day. for many, smoking is a treatable medical condition. so talk to your doctor about prescription treatment options and support. and this time, make it your time.
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about prescription treatment options and support. copd doesn't just make it hard to breathe... it makes it hard to do a lot of things. and i'm a guy who likes to go exploring ... get my hands dirty... and try new things. so i asked my doctor if spiriva could help me breathe better. spiriva is the only once-daily inhaled maintenance treatment for both forms of copd... which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. spiriva keeps my airways open... to help me breathe better for a full 24 hours. and it's not a steroid. spiriva does not replace fast acting inhalers for sudden symptoms. stop taking spiriva and call your doctor right away if your breathing suddenly worsens, your throat or tongue swells, you get hives, have vision changes or eye pain... or have problems passing urine.
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tell your doctor if you have glaucoma, problems passing urine or an enlarged prostate... as these may worsen with spiriva. also discuss the medicines you take... even eye drops. side effects include dry mouth, constipation and trouble passing urine. i'm glad i'm taking spiriva everyday because breathing better is just better. ask your doctor if once-daily spiriva is right for you. it may have been a while since you took a written test for a driver's license. the question is, after years of driving, how do you think you'd do if you had to take one right now? well, according to a new insurance company survey, 1 in 5 licensed drivers in this country
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could not pass a dmv test right now. and about those so-called moments that we jokingly call senior moments, when you suddenly can't remember anything, your home phone number, the name of someone in your family, someone you see every day. another new study says some of those memory problems can be something called mild cognitive impairment when people have memory or thinking problems beyond normal aging and while they can lead to alzheimer's, we've also learned, it's 1.5 times more common in men than women. there have been some new studies that have suggested brain exercises can delay its onset but can't stop its progress once it starts. and it was 70 years ago today that german wearplanes started bombing england for eight months in what would come to be called the blitz. if you didn't know about british character until then, you
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learned about it then. today in london, 2,500 people packed inside st. paul's cathedral to remember those who fought off the nazis. the r.a.f. buzzed the church dome today. in case you missed it on the broadcast last night, while we're all used to seeing the iconic black-and-white grainy images of the blitz, some rare color film shot by an air raid warden has recently been discovered and made public by the family. we've put all of it on our website. it's worth watching if you're interested in world war ii history. when we come back, an american military wife who had an inspiration, turned it into a way to make a difference for others like her. way to make a difference for others like her. strip. sure, i'll try it, but -- [ beep ] wow. [ man ] yeah, that's the patented freestyle zipwik™ design. [ man #1 ] it's like it -- targets the blood. targets the blood. yeah, it draws it right in. the test starts fast. you need just a third the blood of onetouch®. okay. freestyle test strips. i'll take 'em. [ man #2 ] sure. call or click -- we'll send you strips and a meter, free. can't i just have these?
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[ man #2 ] freestyle lite test strips. call or click today. [ man #2 ] freestyle lite test strips. no oil has flowed into the gulf for weeks, but it's just the beginning of our work. i'm iris cross. bp has taken full responsibility for the clean up in the gulf and that includes keeping you informed. my job is to listen to the shrimpers and fishermen, hotel and restaurant workers and find ways to help. that means working with communities. we have 19 centers in 4 states. we've made over 120,000 claims payments, more than $375 million. we've committed $20 billion to an independent claims fund to cover lost income until people impacted can get back to work.
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we'll keep looking for oil, cleaning it up if we find it and restoring the gulf coast. i was born in new orleans. my family still lives here. bp is gonna be here until the oil is gone and the people and businesses are back to normal... until we make this right. introducing total plus omega-3 honey almond flax cereal. all the nutrition of total, plus 10% daily value omega-3 ala, and a delicious honey almond crunch. new total plus omega-3. and a delicious honey almond crunch. vo:well, you could new enever do this before.? >> hello? vo: or this. or this. and you definitely couldn't do this. >> play kate's mix. vo: or this. >> temperature 72 degrees. vo: say hello to the new edge with myford touch.™ quite possibly the world's smartest crossover.
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in our "making a difference" report tonight, a woman who knows firsthand the struggles of military spouses and moms because she is one and she had a great idea. she brought it to life online on the internet where people like her could find common ground. our own nbc's nora o'donnell tonight has the story of how lori bell is making a difference. >> reporter: for lori bell, military is a way of life. >> there you go.
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>> reporter: a mother of two with another one on the way, bell and her husband kenyan or are an air force couple. lori retired a few years ago. her husband kenyan has served 15 years and recently returned from afghanistan. it was during that last long separation that lori had an idea. >> it was one of those weird deployment days when nothing was seeming to go right. and i said, i wonder how many people are going through like what i'm going through. >> reporter: so she started an online community, the national association of military moms and spouses. >> there are over a million military spouses all across the nation. and we are all in the same fight. we speak the same language. these are groups that they have formed. >> reporter: the website offers support on finances, child care, even tips on how to get through a long-term deployment. adjusting to life in the middle east. >> in the middle east. >> reporter: connecting women worldwide. >> you want to know when you
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move somewhere, well, where are the safe schools? >> we're able to help each other and get each other through the good times and the not-so-good times. >> reporter: it's almost like they're lacking a community and they find one. >> right, exactly. that's exactly what it's about. >> reporter: after watching her idea take off, kenyan nominated his wife as military spouse of the year. >> she has served in the military ten years. and now she's continuing to serve just in a different capacity. >> our spouses are the backbone of our force. >> she understands everything that any military spouse has gone through, whether it be deployment, raising children, volunteering and making a difference in her community. >> i tell them to prosper where you're planted. and that means, use your gifts and talents to create the life you want with the military life you get. >> reporter: lori bell, giving support and friendship to military families, one woman at a time. nora o'donnell, nbc news, washington. and that's our broadcast for this tuesday night.
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thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams. we hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. we hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. good night. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com no oil has flowed into the gulf for weeks, but it's just the beginning of our work. i'm iris cross. bp has taken full responsibility for the clean up in the gulf and that includes keeping you informed. my job is to listen to the shrimpers and fishermen, hotel and restaurant workers and find ways to help. that means working with communities. we have 19 centers in 4 states. we've made over 120,000 claims payments, more than $375 million.

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